DT 29249 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29249

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29249

Hints and tips by pommers

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

Hola from the Vega Baja and Feliz Año Nuevo a todos.  I seem to have survived Christmas and the New Year relatively intact so it’s just Kings to go over the coming weekend then it’s back to normal.  Hope you all enjoyed the festive season too.

I’m not sure who today’s setter is but I don’t think it’s RayT.  It’s his turn this week but in this puzzle there are nine clues with nine or more words and the quick crossword is full of multi-word clues. I wouldn’t be surprised if I’m proved wrong though as my record of setter spotting is far from good. I found it a bit tricky in places so it will be interesting to see if you all agree.

As usual the ones I liked most are in blue.  The definitions are underlined in the clues and the answers are under the “click here” buttons so don’t click on them unless you really want to see the answer.  Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a           King say, is keeping in mind what soldiers should wear (11)
REGIMENTALS:  String together the usual letter for king, two letters for say and the IS from the clue.  Into this insert (keeping) a word meaning in mind or in the head.

7a           Additionally provides food to boy (5,2)
TACKS ON:  A slang word for food (4) and your boy child (3) split (5,2).

8a           Exercise when nothing gets off the ground, there being a fog (3,4)
PEA SOUP:  A charade of two letters for exercise, a two letter word meaning when, the letter that looks like zero (nothing) and a two letter word meaning off the ground all split (3,4).

10a         Completely unfashionable element of the political spectrum? (8)
OUTRIGHT:  A word meaning unfashionable followed by one side of the political spectrum.

11a         Provide new final bit to trading activity? (6)
RETAIL:  This trading activity could be read as meaning to provide a new final bit or end, to a dog perhaps.

13a         Three learners gathering round to relax (4)
LOLL:  Take three learners and insert (gathering) a round letter.

14a         Lots of different things thrown on mattress (10)
ASSORTMENT:  Anagram (thrown) of ON MATTRESS.

16a         Yes, this Don can be tricky — it’s not fair! (10)
DISHONESTY: Anagram (can be tricky) of YES THIS DON.

18a         Queen to take over with no sign of affection (4)
ANNE:  This Queen was the last monarch of the House of Stuart.  She’s a word meaning to take over without the letter which you might put on a Christmas card as a sign of affection.

21a         Drinker disposing of pounds — one generous to restaurant staff? (6)
TIPPER:  A word for a drinker without the L (disposing of pounds).

22a         Stuff mum mostly put back (8)
MATERIAL:  Latin word for your mum followed by a reversal (back) of a word meaning put (past tense) but without its last letter (mostly).

24a         Render song about maiden I left looking happy (7)
SMILING: A word meaning to render or deliver a song placed around (about) an M(aiden) the I from the clue and an L(eft).

25a         Sailors not out in boat should be going off (7)
TURNING:  This is a word for going off that my gran used to apply to going off milk. It’s the abbreviation for our military sailors and a word meaning not out placed inside (in) a type of boat.

26a         Sam ordering bananas, one who enjoys scoffing (11)
GORMANDISER:  Anagram (bananas) of SAM ORDERING.


1d           Article about musical event (7)
RECITAL:  Anagram (about) of ARTICLE.

2d           Talk from bishop is so good, uplifting (6)
GOSSIP:  A lurker hidden in (from) bishop is so good but it’s backwards (uplifting in a down clue.

3d           City fellow to applaud going round street (10)
MANCHESTER:  A fellow followed by a word meaning applaud placed around the abbreviation of street will give you the city where I was born.

4d           Turn up for small drinks (4)
NIPS:  A word meaning turn or revolve reversed (up in a down clue).

5d           A horse given time to drink (8)
AMARETTO:  A from the clue followed by a female horse, a T(ime) and the TO from the clue.

6d           Son to get angry keeping in cupboard? (7)
STORAGE:  S(on) followed by the TO from the clue and a word meaning to get angry.

7d           Resorting to godly rest, they shelter in caves (11)
TROGLODYTES:  These people who live in caves are an anagram (resorting) of TO GODLY REST.

9d           Stop to let the water out? (4,3,4)
PULL THE PLUG:  A phrase meaning to stop or bring an end to something is also what you would do to let the water out of your bath.

12d         Given a legal document that’s shortened? (10)
CONTRACTED:  Double definition.

15d         One offering accommodation in small house with phone? That is right (8)
HOTELIER:  Abbreviation (small) of house followed by a short word for a telephone the two letters for that is and an R(ight).

17d         Something wet falling on to heather from young tree (7)
SAPLING:  Something wet from a plant placed on another name for heather or erica.

19d         Number one gentleman, full of energy, creating more commotion (7)
NOISIER:  Two letters for number followed by the letter that looks like one and the title of a gentleman or knight of the realm.  Into this lot insert (full of) and E(nergy).

20d         Explosive star disrupted football team (6)
HEARTS:  Two letters for high explosive followed by an anagram (disrupted) of STAR gives you the popular name of an Edinburgh football team.

23d         Silver Sun personified in Indian city (4)
AGRA:  Chemical symbol for silver followed by the Egyptian sun god.

Maybe not as much blue as usual but my podium is occupied by 9d, 5d and 24a.  Which ones did you like the most?

Just as an aside and nothing to do with the crossword – if you want a giggle have a google of “South Yorkshire Police Operations Complex” and have a look at their address.

Quick crossword pun:     MATT     +     RIMINI     =     MATRIMONY

79 comments on “DT 29249

  1. It felt as if this had come from an unfamiliar setter and hence hard to find a wavelength. Finally needed some prompting in the NE corner. Haven’t heard of food synonym in 7a (tuck yes) and HE in 20d with explosive in the clue seems unimaginative. Not my scene. Thank you Mysteron and pommers.

    1. It’s strange, isn’t it? You weren’t enamoured by 20d. I thought it was a great clue ☺. Each to their own.

      1. Liked 20d particularly as they are my adopted Scottish team. Nice to see puzzle rightfully on back page of printed version. Happy New Year to my fellow solvers.

    2. We had a Tuck shop at school but a Tack shop is where you buy your horsey bits and pieces. Poor clue.

  2. 2.5*/2.5*. Definitely not one of our regular Thursday setters, neither RayT nor proXimal. 9d was my favourite (along with the LOL moment after Googling the South Yorkshire Police Operations Complex).

    Many thanks to the setter and to pommers.

    1. I wondered if the missing letter in 18a could have been a hint for proXimal, but I’m no picker of setters.

  3. Slightly uneven but enjoyable as a 2*\3*. Liked 1A, 25A, 3D. Thanks to Pommers and setter.

  4. You’ve certainly started something with your ‘have a look at the South Yorkshire…’ You only have to type in ‘South’ and ‘Y’ into and the South Yorkshire Police Operations Complex is the first thing on the suggestions list.

    No particular problems with the solving of this crossword – when I read 16a I did wonder if Mr M had moved to Thursdays (particularly after his message last Friday) or perhaps we have a new setter called Don?

    Thanks to Pommers and the Mysteron

    1. DG is my Fav setter and I am usually on his wavelength so I would be very surprised if this had in fact came from him.

  5. 5 and 9d were my co-favourites in this moderately tricky but rewarding and enjoyable Thursday offering. I don’t recognise the setting style, but I hope whoever it is comes back in the future. Yes, there were one or two niggles as previously mentioned, but overall this was fun to solve.

    Thanks very much to our mystery setter and to pommers.

  6. This provided me with a fair but of head scratching and left me with two or three that I couldnt confidently parse (20d, 7a and 22a) so a bit of a mixed bag in my opinion.
    I grew up in 3d and I thought it was nicely clued so that along with the clever and well concealed 2d plus 18a make up my podium.
    Different Thursday setter, will we have a different one tomorrow?
    3.5/ 3*
    Many thanks to Mr Ron and to Pommers, especially for the clip of the truly brilliant Mr Joel.

    1. Agree with your comment about Mr. Joel but I would also have liked to have seen Sarah Brightman but the video link didn’t work. Something about content from SME.

        1. Me too! I went to a Billy Joel concert at Wembley Arena in 1987 – wonderful!
          Great crossword and hints – thank you and Happy New Year to all.

  7. A bit of a head scratcher from definitely not one of the regular Thursday setters (and I don’t think it was Mr M either), completed at a fast canter – 2.5*/3.5*.
    Favourite – a toss-up between 5d and 9d – and the winner is 9d.
    Thanks to the setter and pommers.

  8. Managed all but the SE corner without too much trouble. The aforementioned corner held out for far too long and I found my brain going round in circles. I put the puzzle down for a couple of hours while I got on with some marking only to find this corner still resistant to my efforts. In the end I sought electronic help for 12d and this gave me the indicators I needed. Last one in was 25a so this is my COTD.

    Grateful thanks, as always, to the setter and to Pommers for the Hints.

  9. I struggled with this one, and nearly gave up with about four to go, but with gritted teeth, I got there in the end. I certainly do not recognise the compiler.

    LOI was 5d, the use of foreign words is not on, in my book.

    Thanks to the setter and Pommers.

  10. Took much longer than usual. 5d and 20d were pretty obscure. I’m aware Hearts is a football team but it didn’t immediately come to mind and I wasn’t even convinced it was the answer. Couldn’t think what else it could be. No idea who the compiler is but the puzzle didn’t have a familiar feel to it.

  11. Thanks, Pommers. I got a typical number by myself, and used your clues for the rest. I had the same thought as Crypticsue on reading 16a.

    I like that the hint for 8a ends in “split” (though the picture would need to be a different colour).

    Adjacent clues 5d and 6d both have a literal TO in them, which seems unusual.

    My favourites were 11a and 13a.

  12. Couple of slight problems of my own making in that I assumed ‘mother’ was just the first two letters of the answer which left me in a quandary with the remainder and I always want to slot a ‘u’ into 26a.
    Top three for me were my place of birth in 3d plus 9&12d – with a laugh out loud moment over the police operations address!

    Thanks to our setter and to Pommers for the blog. Hate to be an ignoramus but what’s ‘Kings’ this coming weekend?

    1. Twelfth night. It’s when the Spanish really celebrate Christmas and exchange presents etc. Usually a bit of a piss-up in the town square as well.

      1. Thank you – is that when the three kings supposedly arrived at the stable? Strange that it coincides with the date when we’re busy putting all the decorations away until next Christmas.

        1. I’m putting mine away today. It was always written in stone when growing up that the decorations had to be put away by twelfth night, or you got bad luck all year. None of my American friends have ever heard of that rule. Plus we decorate early here, day after Thanksgiving, so I’m more than happy to see them all go back in the closet.

      2. They celebrate Three Kings Day Day here in Miami, but we’re very Hispanic here and most people don’t speak English. I think the parade is called The Three Kings Strut.

    2. I may be wrong but I believe there is a festival in Peurto Rico called Three Kings Day. I’m sure Pommers will put me right if that is total twaddle! :grin:

  13. As we all know some find various crosswords easier than others and this was certainly the case with this one. Finished it easily but like others in 7 a schoolboys usually have tuck so whilst I finished it I had one wrong! Thanks to pommers (enjoy Kings Night) and the mystery setter.

  14. The SE and a bit of the NE presented a few headaches and a bit of grumbling from me regarding the Lego clue at 8a and the abbreviation in 20d, which was already mentioned in the clue.

    26a is a really awful word. Is it an anglicised or Americanised version of Gourmand, which is a perfectly acceptable word which we’re well used to?
    There were a few nice surfaces, but I didn’t get much joy on finishing. Agree with BD’s difficulty but might even drop the enjoyment to 2*.
    Two new words in the quickie to try to remember and is Rimini really a City?

        1. My trouble with 26a was that I kept thinking it should have a U inserted as the third letter as that would have made a word I had heard of!

  15. Tough but pleasurable. Had to use the hints for quite a few clues today. Also switched to the puzzles website because the DT app on my iPad is even worse than usual (presumably due to the latest IOS update) – if you leave the page for the crossword, or another puzzle, and then turn to it, the puzzle is completely wiped so you have to start again.

    I’m beginning to wonder if this is a DT plan to get people to use the puzzles website instead.

    1. Damn sure it is. They have absolutely no intention of curing the iPad problem that’s obvious.

      1. Yes, About a week ago I sent another moan regarding clues jumping about and slow screen response and received the usual automated response, followed three days later with the advice to wipe the app. and reload. This I did, but no better. I have written again, but no response. It is very poor.

  16. Solved first thing this morning with a couple of cups of tea. Disappointed not to get a RayT (double word clues in the quickie) but an enjoyable puzzle all the same. Thanks to Pommers for the review and thanks to the setter

  17. Not sure who the setter was but didn’t think much of this puzzle. 18a and 7a are dreadful clues (slang terms, Ugh!). The bottom was slightly better than the top but not by much.
    Tricky and not much fun IMHO.
    Thx for the hints

  18. Not my cup of tea, thought the cluing was on the whole too weak be entirely confident in ones answers as the grid filled and no idea which part of the universe the colloquialism in 7a was drafted in from. Thank you to Pommers and setter

  19. A straightforward unaided solve in fractionally over ** time. Can’t say that I was overly aware that it wasn’t a usual setter but then I rarely spot them anyway. 20d was my last in and agree that it wasn’t the best of clues. Not sure what tack has to do with food (I too have fond memories of the boarding school tuck shop) and always thought the spelling for 26a required a letter u.
    Thanks, as ever, for the hints.

  20. For those interested this is from Collins:-

    tack in British English
    food, esp when regarded as inferior or distasteful
    See also hardtack

  21. I thought I was on course to get a good finish but three clues pushed me well into 3* time. Have to agree with the ratings
    3*/3* favs 9d &22ac.
    Enjoyable & a puzzle that woke me up anyway.
    Thanks to setter & Pommers for review & pointers.

  22. Thanks to the setter and Pommers for the review and hints. I enjoyed this one, but found it very tricky in places. Got there in the end. Not a Ray T (multi word clues in quick) not a proXimal (not a pangram without the X) even though the setter got rid of an X and mentioned Queen in 18a, I wondered if that was deliberate? Took ages to get the last three answers. Needed the hints to parse 22a. I thought 20d was superb, and was my favourite. I had heard of tack as food in 7a. Last in was 25a. Was 3*/3* for me.

  23. We also have a big question mark where we normally jot down the setter’s name when we are solving. Were hoping we might get a lead on here but obviously not yet. Our best tentative (and far from confident) guess is that it is proXimal but without his signature pangra.
    It took us a while to get started and then it flowed smoothly but not quickly for us. A pleasant solve.
    Thanks Mr Ron and pommers.

    1. Today’s setter? Surely, CS is right?

      Last Friday’s Quickie message from the Don:

      “Gnome hoar fried Hayes hear” could indicate that he is the new Thursday setter?

      1. I think that may just mean that he’s no longer the setter of the Friday back page cryptic – I find it hard to believe that today’s crossword is one of his.
        I could, of course, be completely wrong – it happens quite a lot. :sad:

  24. Tricky but very satisfying to complete.
    I wrote 26a in wrongly meaning the football team became impossible. Once I had corrected that, the last two (the football team and 22a) fell, though I needed the hint to explain 22a, I had ‘mother’ as the first two letters rather than the first five.
    Thanks to the setter and Pommers for the hints.

  25. 26a an ugly word and definitely not in common usage. I needed hint just for 25a. Liked 24a and 3d

  26. Did not like 26a at all Most of it went in OK.
    Thanks for the hints pommers
    Also looking forward to los tres Reyes on Sunday in Calpe.
    Balthazar and his helpers black up which is sure to cause offence to someone.
    The hard sweets they throw hurt if they hit you.
    Got friends coming out for it.
    The children get coal instead of presents in their shoes if they’ve not been good.
    Looking forward to Monday when everything is back to normal.

  27. Being my usuaL contrary self, I quite enjoyed this puzzle, partly because it was a relief from the Ray T Thursdays, when I just feel like an idiot. Did manage to get the entire left side in first, and rest went in during later coffee break. I was particularly pleased with myself for figuring out 26a (awful word) and 7d. I didn’t care for 20d, having almost zero knowledge of sports. Thanks to mystery setter and to Pommers for the hints.

  28. I’m with BusyLizzie all the way, which I usually am; 26a dreadful word, but I’ve heard of it, maybe American.
    I had to use some e-help, 7d was one, and never did get 20d, but don’t mind not knowing that, was familiar with “tack” for food; so, all in all, a successful and enjoyable solve today.
    My fave was 9d, but I think 7d a lovely word, difficult to get ones tongue round it.
    Thanks to whomsoever set this, and to pommers for the fun review and discussions.

  29. Oh dear – now I don’t know what to think! :unsure:
    I agree that this is neither Ray T nor proXimal – so who is it? I’m not sure how much I enjoyed it – will ruminate for a bit longer.
    I don’t think that it’s Mr Manley – aka Giovanni or the Don – I didn’t find it tricky enough for him and his fan club didn’t care much for it either.
    Oh well, here I go on the actual crossword.
    I found it reasonably straightforward but got a bit snarled up in the bottom left corner.
    I’d never heard of 26a which feels like a bastardisation of other words but is in the BRB.
    I liked 11a and 9d.
    Thanks to our mystery setter and to pommers.
    Who are we going to have as the setter tomorrow . . . . we’ll see, but will we be able to work out if it’s a new setter or a rejig of days?

    1. PS – the best bit was the Billy Joel – he’s amazing – I think my favourite of his is “Scenes from an Italian restaurant” but I just love everything by him.

    2. “Who are we going to have as the setter tomorrow …”

      I’m not a gambling man … but I’ll put all my money on RayT (or proXimal?)

  30. I’m pleased to read that most found it as difficult as I did but, hey ho, I got there in the end. I thought there were some really good clues and as I look back I can’t see why I struggled. Lots of favourites but 9d takes it by a whisker. I’ll go and fetch the dogs in for a couple of hours now I’ve eaten, they ate hours ago. Many thanks to the setter and Pommers.

  31. The Sarah Brightman video didn’t work for me either but I’ve never met her anyway.

  32. Certain this is not the work of RayT, proXimal, CL or The Don; X-Type I suspect, but there is a whiff of our Saturday setter. Perhaps we will see a new SPP setter in the reshuffle?

    1. I’m glad it wasn’t RayT as I couldn’t work out why I was so far of the pace.

  33. Phwew, that was tough. Lots of ingenious clues e.g. 25a. And lots to frighten the horses, so no completion at a canter nor gallop – and other such frowned-upon equine phrases.

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